It’s been a week since Opening Day, but the season feels new enough that this song still feels appropriate. I really love the line about being “a kid once more.”
The members of Soundgarden readily admit that this song isn’t really about Ty Cobb at all, but rather, the song was written with myriad difficult individuals in mind. The lyrics still fit what we know about Cobb’s delightful personality, however, especially the repetition of the line, “Hard headed f— you all,” throughout the song. I don’t imagine Cobb would have cared for this genre of music, though I can easily imagine him jumping into the stands to go after a fan with this tune playing in the background.
Here’s a movie I watched as a kid, but not since then — until last night. I finally had the opportunity to sit down and enjoy the 1989 comedy classic, Major League, this time as an adult. I was young enough the first time I watched this movie that I couldn’t really remember the core plot line. Perhaps the thing I remembered most from that first viewing was singing along to “Wild Thing” when Ricky Vaughn took the mound in the division championship game.
My memory did get jogged with regards to some other details. Pedro Cerrano shaving his own head with a massive knife (or a small sword?) had me nodding in recognition. Not to mention the snakes and the almost-chicken-sacrifice. And Willie Mays Hayes dropping to do pushups at the plate during spring training also brought a reminiscent chuckle to my lips.
One thing I did not recall, likely because I was too young to understand it the first time around, was how the new team owner deliberately sought to screw the team over. But, as with any great sports movie, how could I ever forget the Indians’ miraculous winning performance as the season progressed? I definitely appreciated this movie so much more this time. Understanding what is going on can make such an impact.
As for final thoughts, I certainly would not mind enjoying this clip during the seventh inning stretch of the next ballgame I attend, whenever that might be:
During a routine several years ago, Bernie Mac performed his own version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and I really like it. This rendition would be a bit tricky for a stadium of fans to sing along to during the seventh inning stretch, but I do love how this crowd gets into his performance.
While the message of this song is ultimately a sad one, as we head into the cold, dark days of winter, it mostly makes me miss warm weather. It may get too hot for golfing, but one can always take in a ballgame from the climate-controlled comfort of home.
The theme of this tune’s lyrics is really more of a bar fight song than it is a baseball song, but one individual in the comments of the video mentioned they used to blare this during baseball practice. I can certainly see how this would get a team pumped up, and I’m sure many teams have listened to this during their pre-game warmups as well.
Here’s an interesting twist on the old classic, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” I like to listen to music during my indoor workouts, but I’m pretty split on this one. It’s catchy, no doubt. But the traditionalist in me is less excited about this version. Maybe if I listen to it enough, it’ll grow on me.
This song is dripping with satire as it tells about the Steroid Era of Major League Baseball. It seems vaguely familiar to me, and it’s quite possible that I heard this on the radio on my drive to work at some point. The song has been featured on radio stations all over the country. To complement the hilarity of the song and its lyrics, someone put together this slideshow to watch as you listen.
I am honestly surprised that I haven’t posted this classic tune yet. Apparently, Joe DiMaggio was actually annoyed by the inclusion of his name in this song, until Paul Simon explained the meaning to him.
“I happened to be in a restaurant and there he was,” recalls Simon in the interview. “I gathered up my nerve to go over and introduce myself and say, ‘Hi, I’m the guy that wrote “Mrs. Robinson,” ’ and he said ‘Yeah, sit down . . . why’d you say that? I’m here, everyone knows I’m here.’ I said, ‘I don’t mean it that way — I mean, where are these great heroes now?’ He was flattered once he understood that it was meant to be flattering.”
This past week, a co-worker shared this episode by Kansas Public Radio with me. To celebrate the return of Major League Baseball, KPR asked members of its own staff to share what song they’d pick as their own personal walk-up song. I listened to the episode while doing some housework the other night (can I just mention what a privilege it is to be able to listen to cool stuff while doing chores?), and it was fascinating to hear what these individuals each chose as their tunes. One guy chose the Bagel Bites jingle from the 1990s commercial, which I found most amusing of the choices. Each staffer explains why they selected their song, and the program even goes on to play each song. If that sort of thing interests you, I encourage you to give the episode a listen, as well.
Of course, this also got me thinking about what I would choose as my own walk-up song, and I have to confess, I’m finding it hard to choose. I do feel like Smash Mouth’s “All Star” is pretty hard to beat, but I imagine it would also be an overused selection:
But then, the chorus of Papa Roach’s “Face Everything and Rise” provides quite the pump up without being quite as mainstream:
Or if you’d rather get away from lyrics, at the moment I’d probably go with one of the instrumental portions of Code Black’s “Tonight Will Never Die”:
To be honest, I could probably go on and on for days listing possible songs, so for the sake of brevity, we’ll stop this list at three. And honestly, if I were to do this again tomorrow, my top three would likely be completely different. I’ve decided that the most logical solution to this problem, in the unlikely event that I ever do become a big league ballplayer, is that I’ll just have to make a point to bribe the PA team to play a different song with each at-bat. That’s reasonable, isn’t it?
But now, I’m curious: what tune would you choose as your walk-up song?